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Packers Control Playoff Destiny, Flynn Prepares To Start

Green Bay Packers helmet.
Green Bay Packers helmet.

GREEN BAY, WI (LEARFIeld-WSAU) The Green Bay Packers control their playoff destiny once again, after the Detroit Lions lost at home to Baltimore 18-to-16 on Monday Night Football.  If the Packers win their final two regular season games, they'll clinch the N-F-C North Division and make the playoffs.  

The Packers can thank Ravens' kicker Justin Tucker for that.  He booted six field goals, including a 61-yarder with 38 seconds left which gave Baltimore its fourth straight victory.  Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 235 yards and a touchdown -- but he also had three interceptions as Detroit dropped to third place in the N-F-C North at 7-and-7.  

The Packers moved into second at 7-6-and-1, and can win the title with victories Sunday at home against Pittsburgh and December 29th at Chicago.  Packers' coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday he had no interest in watching the Lions' game, and all his attention would toward beating the 6-and-8 Steelers.

 But several of McCarthy's players got fired up on Twitter.  Guard T-J Lang tweeted "Yesssssss!" after the Lions' loss.  Tight end Brandon Bostick said, "Just what we needed, don't count us out."  Tight end Andrew Quarless promised, "We're going to put that work in."  Practice for the Packer-Steeler matchup begins tomorrow.

Matt Flynn will prepare to make his fourth straight start at quarterback for the Packers on Sunday at home against Pittsburgh.  Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that Aaron Rodgers will have his broken collarbone checked out again tomorrow, and team officials will then come up with a plan for Rodgers' future.

 McCarthy said the preliminary game-planning for the Steelers' game includes Flynn at quarterback.  He led Green Bay to two come-from-behind victories in the past two weeks against Atlanta and Dallas -- but Flynn said he'd be happy to hand the controls back to Rodgers if he's ready.

 Rodgers has missed six games and most of another, after he was injured November fourth.  The Packers are 2-4-and-1 without him.  

Meanwhile, receiver and kick returner Randall Cobb will get another test tomorrow on the leg injury that has kept him out since mid-October.  McCarthy said Cobb had a good workout yesterday.  The third-year pro was put on injured reserve with a designation to return.

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